We started off the day at 8am again but were able to wake up on time today! We used Casual Cairo Detours again but this time we had Mostafa who is a "freelance" tour guide. He was excellent - practically no accent which was important to help my kids stay engaged. We really enjoyed talking to him about his time spent in Orange County post 9/11 as well as American politics. We found that everyone has an opinion on American politics as soon as they figured out we weren't Brits! "American people good - George Bush bad!" - even from the taxi drivers.
Anyways the highlights of this day were not the Giza Pyramids (are you seeing a them here? We weren't big fans of Mohammed Ali's mosque either..) but the Red Pyramid in Dashur and having lunch with Mohammed at his friends restaurant. Delicious food and they're thinking of opening up a restaurant in the States. Anyways - back to the pyramid -
The Red Pyramid was totally empty when we showed up. It was awesome to be the only ones scampering up the side of the pyramid into the chamber. While we were inside the dreaded tour bus showed up. Oh well - there was only one and we were on our way out anyway.
Then we went to Sakkara and entered the tomb of Ti and the Pyramid of Teti. This was much busier that Dashur. There were souvenir stands set up and peole trying to sell postcars. However, somehow we wound up in the Pyramid of Teti all by ourselves with the caretaker. He received a very nice tip for the private tour. I think the caretakers may have a system going on because after we were down there by ourselves for a while I heard repetitive tapping from the entry way, I think, telling us that our private time was coming to a close. Once again - very special -
The wind was picking up at this point and it was rather cold. It was "raining" but more what we call "spitting". We went off to the Giza Pyramids after lunch. After having such an "off the beaten track" couple of days, Giza was jarring. Hundreds of people and many, many tour buses. We didn't bother paying the additional amount to enter the pyramids and don't regret it. Then we were off to the Sphinx and took the obligatory pictures there.
Another exhausting day so we wound up close by for dinner again - Peking Duck, I believe - take a right coming out of the Longchamps. The food was actually good but I was dying for more Egyptian food!
The next morning we had reception write down Egypt Museum on their business cards and we hailed a couple of taxis to take us. Taxis worked out very well. I found that telling them rather than asking them how much worked out fine. It was 10EL to get to the museum - I think I had him at 7EL but just gave him the 10. This reminds me anytime we bought something we were always asked to trade up money - for example if something coast 80EL - rather then giving back 20EL, we were asked for 130EL so we could be given 50EL back rather than 20EL. We would just say no to that and get the smaller denominations -
Regarding the Egypt Museum, I'm glad I didn't hire a guide. My kids were getting a bit burned out and it was nice to just wander around. I do not recommend paying the add'l $$'s to see the mummy room if you plan on going down to Luxor since the mummies are included in the admission price there. The animal mummy room was fun for the kids as well as King Tut's treasures.
The best part of the day was gaining even more independence with being comfortable getting into taxis and driving around. Very fun! We left for the airport to fly down to Luxor so I am jumping over to that forum now.